Noe Valley Voice September 1998

Letters to the Editor

Arro, a Dog Surrounded by Love

To our friends and neighbors on Elizabeth Street:

Recently, our beloved white shepherd, Arro, passed away from a rapidly moving cancer. We felt devastated by her loss, especially since she was so young for a dog, only 6 years old.

We would like to express our thanks and gratitude to the many neighbors and dog owners who used to know our dog and walk by her while she posted herself at our front door, spinning and barking at all the dog friends that passed by. We've received wonderful and touching notes, cards, and flowers from people we didn't even know -- just thoughtful owners of passing dogs. It eased our grief immense-ly to feel that we had a community of dog and animal lovers sharing our loss.

We've always felt blessed to live in Noe Valley. Now we feel even more so. The concern that people have shown is typical of the neighborhood's warmth and thoughtfulness.

Again, thank you to all who cared and communicated your own sense of loss to us. Arro will be missed, but at least she had a lot of love and support during her time here.

Suzanne Driver and Barbara Newman

Elizabeth Street

What? A Kind Word for Starbucks!


I think people in Noe Valley get way too excited about the issue of coffee shops on 24th Street ["Should We Seal the Lid on Coffee Shops on 24th Street?" by Erin O'Briant, July/ August 1998 Voice].

If too many coffee shops open, then some will go out of business, but if not, then the demand of the consumer will be fulfilled. Let the free market decide who should be here. Don't put restrictions on restaurants. There are too few decent ones around here -- ever see the lines in front of Savor or Pasta Pomodoro?

I can't understand why some members of Friends of Noe Valley consider Lovejoy's Antiques a "full-service restaurant." Have you ever been there? They serve little tea sandwiches and scones.

If you want to do something to preserve the as yet undefined character of the neighborhood, crack down on places like Noe's Bar on the corner of 24th and Church. Too often I have seen their drunk patrons staggering around on the sidewalks. They leave the sidewalks covered with trash, and the bar is very noisy.

We shouldn't blindly restrict chain stores and restaurants. It should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Let's keep the Subways and McDonalds out, but I'm glad Starbucks and Pasta Pomodoro are here.

Ray Stanten

24th Street

Good Public Schools in Our Own Back Yard


Thank you for your excellent article on the aftermath of Prop. 227 ["Schools Brace for Bilingual Shakeup," by Denise Minor, July/August 1998 Voice]. I was very pleased to see such informed and unbiased reporting. I live in the neighborhood and have young children, and we will be applying to public schools this fall to start school in the fall of '99.

I am disturbed, however, by the lack of information neighborhood families have about our local public schools. I also am disheartened when 10 children who live on the same street, go to the same park, and possibly even attend the same pre-school suddenly find themselves attending 10 different schools all over the city. I think that a school should be the focal point of a community, and indeed the promise of democracy is to provide a quality education for all.

I would like to suggest that in a future issue you take an in-depth look at elementary schools in Noe Valley. I am especially thinking about Fairmount School on Chenery Street, where the principal was recruited from Buena Vista Alternative. She has already made progress at the school and is starting to attract neighborhood families.

Alvarado is also an excellent school, which families from all over the city are applying to, but it is still not as widely known in Noe Valley as it should be.

I can't believe that it takes such a long time for people's perceptions of a school to change. I feel that many young families in the neighborhood who are looking for quality education might find it right here in our own back yard if they realized that the parents and the community are all in this together!

Sandra Halladey

Castro Street

Looking for a Nice Hotel Near Noe Valley


This is really a stretch, but I stumbled across Officer Lois Perillo's article about her personal accident [July/August 1998 Voice], while surfing on the web looking for a good, safe place to stay for three nights while attending a special musical production at the Noe Valley Ministry during early October.

I have an Advantage award certificate for one free night for a variety of well-known hotels, but really haven't any idea where Noe Valley is geographically.

Can you refer me to a good place? Hope Officer Perillo has fully recovered from her injuries. My son is a police officer in a town near Oklahoma City. My best to all. Thanks.

Judy Calibani

Editor's Reply: Thanks for writing, Judy. And Officer Perillo thanks you for your good wishes. She's back on the beat, expecting a full recovery. (See this month's Police Beat column on page 13, or on the Internet.) Meanwhile, you and all those readers who have out-of-town guests and no place to put them (that's everybody, right?) might be interested in our June 1997 story titled An Inside Look at Four Noe Valley B&B's. It's at the Noe Valley Library as well as in our archives on our web page: Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any major hotels within close proximity of Noe Valley. But maybe I'm wrong. Readers, I'd love your recommendations. Send them in, please. --Sally Smith, Editor

Samba, Anyone?


Anyone out there know about Noe Valley Community Samba?

They (actually, we) paraded in 1989 during the San Francisco Carnaval held on Mission Street.

I would like to get back in touch with Roger or Damion Poirier. If you have a number or address, drop me an e-mail.

Many thanks.

Carlos Ortega

More Aware of Airplane Noise


I have been living in Noe Valley for about five years now and have always enjoyed the useful and interesting information in your paper. After falling in love with the neighborhood, my fiance and I recently bought a house on 26th Street (not an easy task these days!). Although we really love our house, we have become increasingly aware of frequent loud airplane noise over the neighborhood.

I am not sure if the frequency of airplane traffic has increased, or if our short move from Elizabeth (our old address) to 26th Street has made the difference, or if it is simply a heightened degree of awareness on our part.

Anyway, I would really like the neighborhood's assistance and advice on how to combat this problem. I have already contacted the noise abatement offices of SFO and Oakland airports, although quite frankly, they appear rather ineffectual. I have also searched the Internet and have found community groups in Oakland and the Peninsula combatting this issue, but none to speak of in San Francisco.

I know the issue I am raising is grand in scale, but I feel it is important to address it. If we don't, it will continue to negatively impact our community, our children, and our health.

Any neighbors want to join forces on this issue? If so, send me an e-mail at

Thanks for your help! It will be greatly appreciated.

Fabiola Cobarrubias